Research Profile: Stephen Burns
Stephen is Coordinator of Ministry Studies at Pilgrim Theological College, where he accompanies the candidates for public ministries of the church, and teaches across worship and ministry units. He is Professor of Liturgical and Practical Theology in the University of Divinity. A British-Australian citizen, he studied theology at the universities of Durham (BA, hons; MA; PhD) and Cambridge (MLitt) and is a presbyter in the Church of England. He has taught in ecumenical seminaries in the UK (The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, where he is International Research Consultant; Cranmer Hall and the Wesley Study Centre, Durham) as well as in the USA (Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge) and Australia (including at United Theological College, Sydney).
Stephen’s 2019 teaching at Pilgrim includes: Liturgical Theology and Practice—an introduction to liturgical study; Liturgy Lab.—a practice-intensive unit especially suitable for ministers looking to do fresh thinking about their contexts; and Cross-cultural Practice of Ministry.
He also teaches in units closely associated with the Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies, based in the University of Divinity, co-teaching (with a range of colleagues) Thinking Otherwise—an introduction to feminist theologies—and (with Katharine Massam) Mary: Feminist Theological Revisions.
Stephen’s publications include:
- Liturgy With a Difference: Beyond Inclusion in the Liturgical Assembly (coedited with Bryan Cones; London: SCM Press, 2019)
- Liturgy (SCM Studyguide)(London: SCM Press, second edition, 2018)
- Postcolonial Practice of Ministry: Leadership, Liturgy, and Interfaith Engagement(coedited with Kwok Pui-lan; Lanham: Lexington, 2016)
- Pastoral Theology for Public Ministry(New York: Seabury, 2015)
- Public Theology and the Challenge of Feminism(coedited with Anita Monro; London: Routledge, 2015)
- Liturgical Spirituality: Anglican Reflections on the Church’s Prayery(editor; New York: Seabury, 2013)
- Home and Away: Contextual Theology and Local Practice(coedited with Clive Pearson; Eugene: Pickwick, 2013)
- Worship and Ministry: Shaped Towards God(Melbourne: Mosaic, 2012)
- Pilgrim People: An Invitation to Worship in the Uniting Church(Adelaide: MediaCom, 2012)
- The Art of Tentmaking: Making Space for Worship(editor; Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2012)
- Christian Worship: Postcolonial Perspectives(co-authored with Michael N. Jagessar; Sheffield: Equinox, 2011 [London: Routledge, 2014])
- Presiding Like a Woman(coedited with Nicola Slee; London: SPCK, 2010)
- Christian Worship in Australia(coedited with Anita Monro; Strathfield: St. Pauls, 2009)
- The Edge of God: New Liturgical Texts and Contexts in Conversation(coedited with Nicola Slee and Michael N. Jagessar; Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2008)
- Exchanges of Grace: Essays in Honour of Ann Loades(London: SCM Press, 2008)
- Worship in Context(Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006)
He is currently coediting, with Robert Gribben, When We Pray: The Future of Common Prayer; with Bryan Cones, A Guide for the Assembly, According to All?, and Twentieth-Century Anglican Theologians; and with Ann Loades, a selection of her essays, Limned With Our Image. He is writing, with Nicola Slee, Riting the Body: Feminist Liturgy—Theology and Practice.
Stephen’s research areas are liturgical theology and feminist and postcolonial theologies. Current concerns are indicated in his recent writing, including
- “Liturgy After the Abuse” in Theology in the Age of Empire: Resistance and Vulnerability, ed. Jione Havea (Lanham: Lexington, 2019);
- “Ordination Services, After the Abuse,” in Postcolonial Liturgy, a special edition of the journal Liturgy(2019) which he guest edited;
- “Faithfulness or Betrayal? Tradition in ‘Geriatric Assemblies,” in Horizons of Contextuality, ed. Jione Havea (Lanham: Lexington, 2019);
- “Deterrence: Crucified People,” in a collection by the Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies being edited by Carolyn Alsen and Fotini Toso.
- “Prayer and Pastoral Ministry,” in The T & T Clark Handbook to Christian Prayer, ed. Ashley Cocksworth (London: Bloomsbury, 2019);
- “No Participation, No Liturgy,” in A Guide for the Assembly;
- “A Prayer Book for Australia: That Was Then, This is Now” in Australian Journal of Liturgy, (2018);
- “Pastoral Ministry Today,” in A Pastoral Handbook for Anglicans, ed. Brad Billings (Alexandria: Broughton Books, 2018).
Stephen is currently supervising postgraduate research in liturgical, contextual and queer theologies.
Stephen is one of the bloggers at www.exploringliturgy.org